The author of the acclaimed mystery The Unquiet Dead delivers her first fantasy novel - the opening installment in a thrilling quartet - a tale of religion, oppression, and political intrigue that radiates with heroism, wonder, and hope.
A dark power called the Talisman has risen in the land, born of ignorance and persecution. Led by a man known only known as the One-Eyed Preacher, it is a cruel and terrifying movement bent on world domination - a superstitious patriarchy that suppresses knowledge and subjugates women. And it is growing.
But there are those who fight the Talisman's spread, including the Companions of Hira, a diverse group of influential women whose power derives from the Claim - the magic inherent in the words of a sacred scripture. Foremost among them is Arian and her apprentice, Sinnia, skilled warriors who are knowledgeable in the Claim. This daring pair has long stalked Talisman slave-chains, searching for clues and weapons to help them battle their enemy's oppressive ways. Now, they may have discovered a miraculous symbol of hope that can destroy the One-Eyed Preacher and his fervid followers: The Bloodprint, a dangerous text the Talisman has tried to erase from the world.
Finding a copy of The Bloodprint promises to be their most dangerous undertaking yet, an arduous journey that will lead them deep into Talisman territory. Though they will be helped by allies - a loyal ex-slave and Arian's former confidante and sword master - both Arian and Sinnia know that this mission may well be their last.
©2017 Ausma Zehanat Khan (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers